Capercaillie :: Sidewaulk

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Sidewaulk Front Cover

Originally posted on Epinions

Other Capercaillie Albums I’ve stumbled upon:
Roses and Tears by Capercaillie

Capercaillie may not be as well-known as the Irish Folk bands in the music business, but they certainly have left their mark over the years, since the group’s formation in the 80s. Fans of Irish traditional music may not find so much of a difference in the Scottish genre, but Capercaillie has made their songs unique by integrating modern rock instruments with Karen Matheson‘s melodious folk performances.


However, we see little divergence from their folk roots in Capercallie’s fourth album, Sidewaulk. This is evident from the fact that they perform three well-known Irish/Scottish tunes in almost unmutilated traditional fashion: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda and Fosgail an Dorus / Nighean Bhuaidh’ Ruadh.

Alasdair, the opening track, is a fiery chorus tribute to the 17th century Scottish-born Irish soldier-general Alasdair Mac Colla. This song was also performed by Clannad in their 1996 album Lore. Fosgail an Dorus is a waulking song full of rhythm, uttering almost nonsensical but rhyming sentences in fast-paced tongue-twisting alternation. Following Clannad’s tradition of blending two folk songs into one track while maintaining musical continuity, Capercaillie makes Fosgail shift into Nighean Bhuaidh’, which is a similar waulking song.

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